THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE (Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

Collaborating again with Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) writers David Levien and Brian Koppelman, Steven Soderbergh has made The Girlfriend Experience using high-definition video, as he did for Bubble (2005). Pornographic film star Sasha Grey plays Chelsea, a $2000-an-hour Manhattan call girl; the rest of the cast consists of nonprofessionals. We see Chelsea at work, mostly conversing […]

AKUMULÁTOR 1 (Jan Svěrák, 1994)

A dazzling comic science-fiction fable, Akumulátor 1 is soul-mate to Gus Van Sant’s frosty satire To Die For (1995), written by Buck Henry. Both are about the destructive nature of television; however, whereas in the U.S. film people are dying—and killing—to be on T.V., in Akumulátor 1, from the Czech Republic, people are dying because […]

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (Blake Edwards, 1961)

Audrey Hepburn’s best performances would remain those she gave in Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953) and Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1954), but I suspect that her most widely and warmly remembered one is as Holly Golightly (best actress, David di Donatello Award, Film Daily’s poll of U.S. critics nationwide), an expensive Manhattan call girl—though formerly the […]

THREE CASES OF MURDER (Wendy Toye, David Eady, George More O’Ferrall, Orson Welles(?), 1954)

Orson Welles stars as MP Lord Mountdrago in the final part of the British mystery anthology Three Cases of Murder, and he is rumored to have largely directed the segment as well—and its intensity, riveting suspense and brilliant wit all lend credence to the rumor. George More O’Ferrall, the credited director, worked almost entirely in […]

LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK (Petr Weigl, 1992)

Dmitri Shostakovich and Alexander Preis’s four-act opera, based on Nikolai Leskov’s nineteenth-century novella, has been cut, but Czech-born Petr Weigl’s 100-minute film version, vacuous and unfocused, is too long already. Weigl has nothing to show, nothing to say. His is certainly vastly inferior to Andrzej Wajda’s non-singing 1961 version of the Leskov story, a film […]